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What is An Afro-Latino(a)?

As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s an opportune time to share a lesson on What is An Afro-Latino(a)?

Afro-Latino(a)s are persons of African (Black) Descent whose origins are in Mexico, Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama), South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina), and the Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy) Afro-Latino(a). They hail from countries whose inhabitants speak a Romance language.

Romance languages, group of related languages all derived from Vulgar Latin within historical times and forming a subgroup of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family. The major languages of the family include French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian, all national languages.

Historical Identity Milestones
1978 – Black socialist activists and intellectuals in the city of São Paulo created of the Movimento Negro Unificado in 1978, named their movement “the Grupo Afro-Latino-América”.

1978 – American political scientists Anani Dzidzienyo and Pierre-Michel Fontaine, introduced the idea of Afro-Latin America to the United States.

1996 – The Portuguese term afrodescendente was coined in Brazil in 1996, by the black feminist activist Sueli Carneiro, and became common usage especially after the 2001 Durban conference on racism, appearing in Colombia around the same time (Mosquera et al. 2002).

2000 – The term “Latino” appeared on the USA census form for the first time.

2000 – The term Afro-descendant was first adopted in an official declaration in 2000, by Latin American and Caribbean representatives gathered at the Regional Conference against Racism, in Santiago, Chile.

2001 – World Conference against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa, adopted the term Afro-descendant

Afro-Latino(a)s include culturally differentiated ethnic groups, such as the Creole, Garifuna, Miskito, Raizal, Palanquero and Quilombola. They share a long history of exclusion, racism, discrimination, segregation and marginalization on the basis of their identity.

They struggle with the whitewashed image of what a Latino person is supposed to look like, facing prejudices that come from being in two minority groups, even from other Latino(a)s.

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